Strange Days Indeed

“Happy New Year and thanks for nothing,” just might be what the earth’s animal’s new year’s message is to us humans heading into 2019.

This is not a sweeping condemnation of anyone who is against the Paris Climate Accord. In fact, I have no idea if it would make a diddly-squat of difference in the earth’s temperature and neither, I suspect, do scientists if they were honest with themselves deep down to their core. After all, it’s scientific discovery after discovery that has enabled us to screw the earth up to the point that dire climate warnings are coming fast and furiously. In fact, I can just picture Oliver Hardy addressing scientists saying, “Well here’s another fine mess you’ve gotten us into.”

There are some changes I can actually see myself after living in the same region all my life. We have had record rainfall in 2018 and the rain is just continuing in 2019 so far. Standing water never goes away anymore and even when not raining, it has been cloudy most of the time for months. Also, no more weather defined seasons, and winter has been about like spring. There’s stuff growing I’ve never seen before and growing in months there shouldn’t be anything growing.

I recently read about the famous ponies of Chincoteague and how they are becoming endangered. Apparently, they are starting to contract a fungus-like infection in their hoofs from contaminated wetlands. Seven have died so far from this infection known sometimes as swamp cancer which had, up until recent times, been limited to sub-tropical areas, but with all the warmth and rain spreading north, the infection has now been found as far north as Minnesota.

Even the whales are starting to sing a different tune. According to researchers, due to the melting ice caps creating underwater disturbances in the sound waves, whales are having to measurably alter their songs to maintain their communications and get their messages through.

Climate change is also reportedly messing with Mother Nature’s ever so delicate timing. In Europe for example, bird migrations are naturally timed to coincide with tree foliage and the emergence of insects, including caterpillars. When all is timed right, the birds arrive to available food, and trees are helped to survive in the process.

The problem comes when birds migrate based on daylight, but insects and foliage emerge based on temperatures. With the warming climate, insects and trees are out and about earlier, so to speak, and by the time the birds arrive, they are late for dinner.

There are increasingly more examples being reported by scientists of climate change negatively impacting our eco-systems and the news brings forth these stories with dire warnings attached.

Many point to these examples as a call to action for immediate and sweeping changes while others bury their heads in the globally warmed sand and pretend there is nothing happening.

I truly wish I knew exactly what the answer was to fix something that may not be fixable even under the best of scenarios, but I do know that these are, as John Lennon once said, “Strange days indeed.”

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